Pakistani captain eyes more wins in 2012

“Through hard work of all the players we had a good 2011 and I hope that this team will have more success in the new year,” Misbah said while addressing a reception in honour of his team in Lahore on Thursday night.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hosted the function to honour their team, which kept an unbeaten record though all Tests and one-day series in 2011 — a difficult period for the side in the wake of a spot-fixing scandal.

The scandal, unearthed by the now defunct News of the World in the UK in 2010, ended in jail terms for Test captain Salman Butt and pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

Misbah took over as Test captain in September 2010 and led Pakistan to draws in the series against South Africa and the West Indies, and notched wins over New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“I think this success was due to the fact that all 15 players in the squad fulfilled their responsibilities and I am sure they will carry on the good work in the new year,” said Misbah.

Pakistan now face a tough opponent in England, who rose to world number one in Test rankings last year. They will play three Tests, four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s in United Arab Emirates. The first Test starts in Dubai from January 17.

“I am sure the boys will do the same hard work, show responsibility and play to their potential against England who are the best Test team at the moment,” said Misbah. “We know how tough it is going to be, so we are ready for that.”

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf praised the team and announced a cash award of 300,000 rupees ($3300) for each of the 15 players and 100,000 rupees ($1100) for the support staff.

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